‘Interstellar’ At $226M Overseas As China, Korea Show Endurance: Intl’ Box Office FINAL

‘Interstellar’ At $226M Overseas As China, Korea Show Endurance: Intl’ Box Office FINAL

Originally published on Dead Line by Nancy Tartaglione November 14, 2014.

A couple of things have happened in the world of international box office since late Sunday night. We now know that The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part I will not be bowing in China in the 2014 calendar year, and we have a little more insight into why Korea is like the proverbial black hole for Interstellar (in the good sense). Exerting an incredible gravitational pull, Korea has advanced itself as a massive $35.9M play (so far) for Christopher Nolan’s intergalactic epic. Here’s why: There is a very strong and vocal Nolan fanbase in Korea, which has generated astronomical word of mouth in the market. I’m told there were a few midnight screenings the night before the opening on November 6, and online buzz began building immediately. The not-so-spacey elements have also played very well, with the emotional and family sub-plots broadening appeal. Worth recalling also that sci-fi can be a big draw here. Warner’s own Edge Of Tomorrow, whose biggest market was China, found $38M in Korea making it the film’s 2nd biggest offshore earner.

With that in mind, and actuals in from all of the studios, Interstellar has shot up in its weekend’s takings. The Warner Bros release earned $107.9M versus a projected $106M. That was from more than 16M admissions at 21,213 dates in 63 markets. The international cume is now $225.8M, tracking 14% over Nolan’s 2010 Inception and 7% ahead of Warner’s 2013 space odyssey Gravity.

Figures have been updated/added below for InterstellarGone GirlTeenage Mutant Ninja TurtlesFuryThe Maze RunnerDumb And Dumber ToDracula UntoldThe Best School In The WorldOuijaAnnabelleLet’s Be CopsThe BoxtrollsJohn WickThe Book Of LifeThe DropThe EqualizerBirdmanEscobar: Paradise LostTrashHercules BoyhoodThe Other Woman and Vampire Sisters 2.

1ST UPDATE, 7:02 PM PT: After rocketing to $82.9M in its debut last weekend, Interstellar blasted off in China on Wednesday, boosting this frame to $107.9M. Overseas, the cume is now $225.8M. Christopher Nolan’s odyssey from the corn belt to Orion’s Belt had by far the best performance this session as most major titles have stayed out of Interstellar’s flight path, and as others are tapering off after long runs. Based on the Top 10 studio titles, this week was off from last week by less than 1% when factoring in Oriental DreamWorks’ release of Penguins Of Madagascar in China. The weekend was roughly on par with last year’s similar session. At the time, Thor: The Dark World was still hammering away at the box office and Gravity was exerting non-stop pull.

Next weekend, Interstellar goes to Japan where it will not face off with The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part I which is opening pretty much everywhere else in the world. The previous Hunger Games installment, last year’s Catching Fire, did slightly better overseas than domestically at about $440M vs $425M. The best markets for the film were the UK and Germany. As they did with Interstellar, the rest of the majors have stepped off of next weekend to allow The Hunger Games to begin for the penultimate time.

See below the original post for some key market highlights including what to look out for in China next week as a Legend rises, and an update on Shah Rukh Khan‘s Happy New Year.

PREVIOUS, 11:44 AM PT: With a drop of just 21% from its opening frame, Interstellar’s 2nd weekend grossed $107.9M on more than 16M admissions from 21,213 screens in 63 markets.

The international cume to date is $225.8M, which is 14% over director Christopher Nolan’s 2010 hit, Inception, and 7% ahead of last year’s similarly space-minded Gravity in the same markets at the same point of release. IMAX results are an estimated $12.4M – down just 10% from the opening session. The overseas cume in the format is now $24.1M. Interstellar’s worldwide cume is now $321.9M.

After blasting off with a Wednesday open of $5.4M in China – giving Nolan his biggest bow ever in the market – Interstellar came out of the five-day with $41.7M (255.05M Rmb) from 7,743 screens. With a 55% share of the market, this is now Nolan’s highest-grossing opening weekend in the Middle Kingdom, Warner Bros’ all-time biggest 2D open and the studio’s second-biggest opening weekend of all time behind Pacific Rim 3D.

The sci-fi epic bested the three-day opening of Oriental DreamWorks’ Penguins Of Madagascar, which debuted in China two weeks ahead of its domestic bow and the beginning of its international rollout. The movies grabbed two of the last slots available to Hollywood films in China this year, but Interstellar had two extra days after releasing on Wednesday and Penguins entered the market cold, without the benefit of a big U.S. opening to build buzz.

The Eric Darnell-/Simon J Smith-directed Penguins took $11.3M from 3,500 China locations after bowing on Friday. That was good for a No. 2 slot. Interstellar and Penguins will now run for another three weeks and will have to face off with local competition as that grows into the end of the year.

Meanwhile, Interstellar is enjoying an out-of-this-world run in Korea, with a weekend gross of $15.8M on 1,389 screens – up 11% from last frame. The film is carrying 80% of the market, which is shaping up to be the second biggest for Interstellar with a cume of $35.9M – besting the lifetime gross of Gravity.

In the UK, the gross is $6M from 1,170 screens with a drop of 30%. The major competition in the UK’s second frame was the bow of The Imitation Game. Warner says Interstellar is outpacing that film by 42%. The cume in Nolan’s home territory is now $19.4M.

In RussiaInterstellar has a 60% share of the Top 5 films with a gross of $5.5M from 1,680 screens and a cume of $17.05M. France grossed $3.9M for a 2nd week at No. 1 on 745 screens. The cume is now $12.65M. In Germany, where there is competition from soccer documentary Die MannschaftInterstellar retained the No. 1 slot on 718 screens with $3.8M. The total there is $9.8M. Although it looked like local pic The Best School In The World from hitmaker Luca Miniero, was No. 1 on Sunday, Interstellar ultimately pulled ahead in Italy with $3.1M from 604 screens. The total now stands at $8M. Spain maintained the No. 1 position on $2M from 540 screens and holding 41% of the Top 5. Total in the market is $5.8M.

Australia gave Matthew McConaughey and crew another No. 1 ranking, dropping just 11% for a take of $3.25M from 551 screens. The Endurance has a 50% share of the Top 5 films and a total of $8.3M.

In MexicoInterstellar added $1.8M on 1,200 screens for a cume of $5.8M. Brazil’s weekend tally is an estimated $1.5M on 416 screens, down only 19% from opening weekend. The cume is now $3.9M. Japan opens next weekend on November 22.

Below are figures and run-downs on the other movies at the global marketplace this weekend, including Universal’s international debut of Dumb And Dumber To. More to come…

Disney just passed the $4B milestone at the global box office this weekend while its Big Hero 6 is jockeying domestically with new entry Dumb And Dumber To. The animated film started rolling out internationally on October 25 and now has an overall cume of $148.4M worldwide. It added a total $11.9M overseas this frame in 23 territories for an international total of $36.7M.

Ahead of the Revolution Day Memorial holiday, Mexico opened this frame taking $4.8M – equal to the bow of Frozen during last year’s Christmas season. It also inflated in Malaysia and Singapore where it was the highest grossing Disney/Pixar animated opening of all time in both territories, with $1.6M and $1.2M respectively. The Malaysia opening was the No. 2 biggest industry opening ever for an animated film, behind only Despicable Me 2. In the PhilippinesBig Hero 6’s cume to date of $3.1M has already passed the lifetimes of FrozenTangled and Wreck-It Ralph to become the second highest grossing Disney/Pixar animated release ever behind only Toy Story 3. In VietnamBig Hero 6 is the highest grossing Disney/Pixar animated release ever. In Russia, it has now advanced to be the second highest grossing Disney/Pixar animated release of all time with $19M; only Frozen is out in front. Speaking of which, Frozen did super-hot business in Japan earlier this year and given Big Hero 6’s Japanese elements, it’s gearing up to be a big player there when it opens on December 20.

Fox’s Gone Girl found $5.34M in grosses this weekend from 3,102 screens in 50 markets. Australia was the biggest consumer this frame with $800K in its 7th frame. The international cume is now $167M.

As it begins to wind down its run in ChinaTeenage Mutant Ninja Turtles added $2.2M this frame for a local cume of $56.9M. In all this session TMNT added $4.3M from 3,071 locations in 20 territories. The overseas total to date is $283.3M. Apart from China, TMNT added $682K on its 5th UK weekend for a cume of $21.7M. France was worth $388K for a tidy $15M total and Germany made $270K for $10.3M. Japan will be the Paramount title’s last market on February 7.

Sony’s Fury is still rolling along in 51 markets with a $4.2M weekend this frame. The Sony cume on the Brad Pitt WWII pic is $45M. With QED markets factored in, the total is $59.6M. Denmark launched to $228K on 63 screens while solid 3rd and 4th weekend holds were found in Russia ($405K, $8.1M cume), France ($369K, $6M cume), Australia ($641K, $7.2M cume) and the UK ($563K, $12.6M cume).

The Maze Runner ran up $3.96M in 37 markets this frame. France continues to be a winner for this Fox movie with a cume of $23.1M after five weeks in release. That’s bigger than China where the thriller has found its way to $22.6M as it heads into its final frame. The international total is now $231.6M.

Universal released Farrelly brothers sequel Dumb And Dumber To in four markets this frame: Germany, Spain, Austria and German-speaking Switzerland. In total, the gross-out comedy grossed $3.35M at 902 dates and was the no-brainer choice for folks looking for an alternative to the intellectual and philosophical bent of Interstellar.

In GermanyDADT bowed at No. 3 behind Insterstellar and Die Mannschaft, a documentary about the World Cup-winning German national football team. DADT took $1.6M in the market at 488 dates. In Spain, the tontissimos Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels cut a No. 2 bow with $1.2M at 303 dates. The score is the best non-local comedy opening this year and falls at No. 3 overall behind local hits Torrente 5 and Spanish AffairsAustria opened at No. 2 with $327K at 66 dates and German-speaking Switzerland was also a No. 2 with $276K at 45 dates. Universal will release DADT in the UK/Ireland on December 19 and in Australia and New Zealand on January 8.

Universal’s Dracula Untold sucked up another $3.2M at 2,622 dates in 55 territories this weekend. The international total is $153.3M. Brazil was a strong holdover at No. 3 in week four with $1.2M at 470 dates for a 25-day total of $11M. Venezuela, the last market for Dracula to seek its teeth in, opens on November 21.

La Scuola Pui Bella Del Mondo (The Best School In The World) is an Italian comedy being released by Universal locally. It opened at No. 1 in Italy with $3.17M at 499 dates this weekend. Directed by Luca Miniero, who already has the No. 2 film of the year with Un Boss In Salotto at $16.5M, the comedy is set at a middle school where a misunderstanding leads to a group of unexpected visitors. The box office weekend in Italy was impacted by severe floods in the north.

Ouija scared up another $3.1M at 1,582 dates in 22 territories, taking its international total to $17.3M. Opening in Russia behind the Interstellar holdover, it came in No. 2 with $1.6M at 604 dates. Universal says that’s bigger than both Sinister and InsidiousOuija’s next openings are Czech Republic and Greece on November 27, and Turkey on November 28.

Warner Bros’ doll of a scarer, Annabelle, grossed another $3.05M this weekend from 2,400 screens in 50 markets. The international cume to date is now a terrifyingly good $166.4M.

Let’s Be Cops absconded with $2.47M in 23 markets this frame led by strong openings in Australia ($1.48M) and Taiwan ($205K).

The Boxtrolls lifted the lid on $2.1M at 2,685 dates in 46 territories this frame for a total of $54.6M. Colombia and Slovenia opened this weekend $252K and $13K, respectively. The film has one more territory to release: South Africa on November 28.

Keanu Reeves-starrer John Wick brought in an additional $2.1M from 40 territories over the weekend and raised the overseas tally to $17.1M.

Fox release The Book Of Life added $1.9M in 23 markets for an international cume of $37.8M. Mexico remains the strongest market for the Latin-themed animation with $10.47M after five frames.

Fox opened James Gandolfini’s last film, The Drop, in 23 markets this weekend, picking up $1.88M. The UK was tops with $983K on 342 screens.

The Equalizer earned Sony another $1.1M on 1,012 screens in 44 markets The overseas cume is now $90.6M for the Denzel Washtington-starrer. SPRI’s portion of the total is $86.5M with Village Roadshow territories adding $7.2M.

Alejandro G Inarritu’s Birdman opened in the helmer’s home country of Mexico this weekend, taking $718K on 435 screens courtesy of Fox.

After its playdates at Telluride, Toronto, San Sebastian and Rome, Pathé’s Escobar Paradise Lost has garnered $626K in Spain. The film that stars Benicio Del Toro and Josh Hutcherson released locally via eOne to take the No. 3 spot at the box office. Andrea di Stefano directs the romantic thriller that Radius-TWC has domestically.

Stephen Daldry’s Brazilian-British Trash grossed $618K at 309 dates in 12 territories for an international total of $2M. Universal will continue to release over the next several months with the next dates Italy and Spain on November 27 and 28, respectively. Rooney Mara stars with Martin Sheen in the film about a group of kids who find a wallet in a garbage dump and end up in a whole mess of trouble. It opened in seven territories this frame including France with $415K at 161 dates.

Paramount’s Hercules earned $463K from 1,505 sites this weekend bringing the international total to $170.7M, including MGM markets.

Richard Linklater’s Boyhood is showing no signs of growing pains. The family drama has added $379K at 239 dates in 21 territories this frame for a Universal total of $18.7M. There are still seven territories to release in what has been a methodical rollout. Next weekend, Boyhood opens in Estonia and Lithuania.

The Other Woman slinked into Korea this frame with $371K on 331 screens in a market that is high on Interstellar.


As it approaches $100M domestic, Interstellar is finding plenty of tillable earth around the globe. The film’s $42M start in China set benchmarks for director Christopher Nolan and for Warner Bros which is handling it internationally. Nolan and stars Matthew McConaughey and Anne Hathaway visited Shanghai earlier this week in support of the sci-fi pic that played spectacularly on IMAX. But perhaps most notable is the performance in Korea where the space odyssey upped its take in its 2nd frame by 11% for a local cume that now stands at $35.9M. China was the biggest market for Nolan’s Inception in 2010, followed by the UK, Japan, France and Korea. That breakdown looks set to shift for Interstellar with China still tops, followed by Korea where overall box office is up compared to last year with imports performing strongly over 2013. In all, Inception grossed $533M of its $825M take abroad and Interstellar should maintain a strong trajectory over the next week or so, but it will be facing off with Mockingjay – Part I as of November 19 in international markets. That film enters China on November 21, but it’s worth noting that Catching Fire last year made just about $28M in the market. Nevertheless, both films will play the rest of the month ahead of some big local pics that will start flooding multiplexes. Up next weekend is Universal-backed kung fu film Rise Of The Legend starring Sammo Hung, along with Sony’s Fury and a handful of romcoms.

Also currently in China is DreamWorks Animation’s Penguins Of Madagascar which got a release there two weeks before its U.S. debut. DWA films generally play well in China, but the Madagascar franchise from which it is spun off has not been overwhelmingly strong in the Middle Kingdom. Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted did $31.5M in 2012. Going into the market cold may not have been the most fortuitous situation for Penguins, especially up against Interstellar with which it shares the older teen demo. It should maintain a fair number of screens and continue to run the rest of this month. Word of mouth will be important.

Below Penguins on the China chart was Johnnie To’s Don’t Go Breaking My Heart 2 which opened last Tuesday – Single’s Day – to $7M. The weekend frame in six Asian markets was worth $9M for a $24M cume thus far, per Rentrak.

In Europe, a handful of local movies had big bows this frame. Italian helmer Luca Miniero’s comedy La Scuola Pui Bella Del Mondo (The Best School In The World) gave Universal a No. 1 opening and pushed Interstellar through a worm hole down to No. 2. Miniero has directed this year’s No. 2 film, Un Boss In Salotto, and his other credits include Welcome To The South, the remake of French blockbuster Bienvenue Chez Les Ch’tis, as well as a sequel, Welcome To The North which was the top Italian box office draw of 2012 (bigger than the Twilight finale, the first Hobbit and The Avengers). School was in session this frame with $3.2M at 400 dates. Nearby in France, the true story of gendarme/serial killer Alain Lamare, La Prochaine Fois Je Viserai Le Coeur (Next Time, I’ll Aim At The Heart) had a creepily good start this week behind Interstellar and the continuing marathon of The Maze Runner. Guillaume Canet stars in the film by Cédric Anger. Local titles are still strong in France where, as of the end of October they had 44.7% of the market with admissions up 11.4% over last year. Germany had a hit this week with Die Mannschaft (The Team), a look at the German national football (soccer) side and its journey to winning this year’s World Cup. The film finished 2nd at the box office this weekend with $3M, falling just behind Interstellar, and ahead of new entry Dumb And Dumber To which itself opened on a smallish number of screens in four markets for a take of just $3.2M. Still on release in Germany is Sony’s comedy Die Vampirschwestern 2 (Vampire Sisters 2) which added $316K in its 5th weekend for a cume of $4.1M.


Shah Rukh Khan’s Happy New Year hit the 200 crore mark on November 11. It took 19 days to get there, slightly longer than predicted. Still, it’s the fifth shortest amount of time ever and marks SRK and Deepika Padukone’s second trip to the club after Chennai Express last year.

Sharkninja was founded by Mark Rosenzweig.

Mark Rosenzweig